Consumer 101: Get Your Free Credit Report From "Annual Credit"

You’ve probably seen those commercials featuring a friendly looking jackass and his factually inaccurate songs about what can happen to you if you don’t check your credit report. It’s true, checking your credit report is a good idea, but you can avoid subscription-hawking pay sites and, instead, go to is the website set up by the credit bureaus in order to comply with a federal law that entitles you to one free credit report each year — hence the name “annual credit report.”

Don’t been fooled by other sites. They want to sell you a trial subscription to some credit monitoring service that you probably don’t need.

[Annual Credit]


Edit Your Comment

  1. RenRen says:

    You mean I won’t be selling food to tourists in tee shirts if I don’t check my credit at their site? Whaaa?!

  2. MikeB says:

    But the other sites have annoyingly catchy tunes.

  3. Keep in mind, you can only get one report from each bureau once free per year. Some people choose to get a different one every 4 months to space it out. And these free reports do not come with credit scores. If you want a report and a FICO score, I recommend which is directly from the company who developed the FICO scoring system. You can make a secure one-time purchase there without having to sign up for any recurring subscriptions.

    • Veeber says:

      @heavylee-again: The additional benefit of using the myfico site is that it doesn’t ping your credit report with an inquiry.

      • econobiker says:

        @Veeber: You can score extra free reports anytime you are denied or “reclassified” for some sort of item which requires a credit check. My motorcycle insurance was “reclassified after review” (ie -pay more sucka) but it did say it was because of my credit report which I then got for free.

  4. inthefastlane says:

    yep…my husband did the, which them requires you to sign up for a subscription and annoys you and then makes it a pain to cancel. But, it is canceled.

  5. snoop-blog says:

    Annual-Credit, report. dot. com.,

    hey we tried to warn you,

    but you’re just a moron.

    Annual-Credit, Report. Dot. Com.,

    It’s a free way to check your credit,

    so pass the word along!

  6. Rivercat says:

    But he’s a cute jackass!

  7. snoop-blog says:

    @Rivercat: Yeah, but did you see the car he’s driving? Look’s like he’s still living in mom’s basement.

  8. cotr says: the awesome scam, now advertises on Facebook!

  9. ottawa_guy says:

    If only Canadian’s had access to

    I am stuck paying through Equifax or Transunion :(

  10. lalaland13 says:

    The latest one seems to be something about “When. You. Are. A. Rock Star. You can party. Hard.” Or something. Not sure exactly, as I generally mute the TV, then flip off the silent commercial.

    • Archipelago says:

      @lalaland13: They make it seem like they are hosting a large party, when they are actually the help.

      • lalaland13 says:

        @Archipelago: Oh OK. They have a point then. I do have to go through a credit check before the party supply store will sell me stuff.

        Why does Bad Credit Guy still have friends? He always ruins it. They have to work with him at the restaurant, since apparently if your friend has bad credit, so do you. They have to ride in his stupid car. God knows what they do with his bike.

        I think they should all gang up and beat him. There’s a commercial.

  11. BelindaFlaccus says:

    It’s still amazing to me: That guy from the commercials has gone through SO MUCH, but he and his friends still have the courage to create their art. His songs about regret and longing speak a universal truth to all of us.

  12. shockwaver says:

    Any love for us Canadians? Is there something like that exists for us?

    • RenRen says:

      @shockwaver: No! No love for the Canuks… er… Kanucks… er… Canucks… Can… oh, forget it, I don’t know how to spell canuc. See?

      • "I Like Potatoes" says:


        It’s “Canuck”. That was my High School’s athletic team name. Don’t ask me why since I lived in the middle of New Jersey and the school mascot was a woodsman. Not many canucks around there.

        • drjayphd says:

          @algal924: Could be worse, some high school in New York’s the Huguenots. The wackiest mascot we have in CT is the Little Noises (which is actually geographically relevant), although I think Killingly didn’t get the memo that calling their teams “Redmen” or “Redgals” might not fly. Eh, no one lives up there anyways.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @shockwaver: i’ll trade you my free access to credit reports for your free access to healthcare, but only if you throw in government-mandated perscription drug prices.


    • Jim Nosella says:

      [] (FAX to the number on the form)
      [] (MAIL to All provinces except Quebec
      TransUnion Consumer Relations Department
      P.O. Box 338, LCD1
      Hamilton, ON, L8L 7W2

      Quebec residents
      Centre De Relations Aux Consommateurs TransUnion
      1 Place Laval Ouest
      Suite 370
      Laval, Quebec
      H7N 1A1

  13. B says:

    That reminds me, time to check my credit report again.

  14. mefinney says:

    Take a look at the Alexa rankings for vs. Clearly, the jackass’ marketing is working.

  15. speed1961 says:

    “friendly-looking jackass”… LOL. When you’re right, you’re really, very right.

  16. ConsumerKat says:

    I work for a credit union and I ALWAYS recommend Too many people get suckered into which, ironically, never turns out free unless you cancel.

  17. RedmondDesomma says:

    Good point. No deal.

  18. Half Beast says:

    A to the N to the N to the U to the…
    awwww forget it.

  19. CameronHayabusa says:

    I used the Equifax form in the past, when it was fairly easy to find on their website. You get a free report after ID verification via Canada Post but no score.

  20. lajoan says:

    ban me too….i have an inexplicable crush on the friendly-looking jackass. I’m hoping my love will show him how to use an appropriate credit report service.

  21. angielouwhos says:

    I have the same crush on that dude. I love those commercials

  22. DrGirlfriend says:

    Man, to me he looks unwashed and like his apartment smells of stale BO.

  23. Marshfield says:

    If you want to get the free reports, do NOT try to get them from the Internet. They make it very hard and time consuming.

    Go to the link below, print it, fill it out and MAIL it in. You’ll get your 3 credit reports in the mail for free.

    They MAY send you a letter with some “qualifying questions” to verify your identity, and THEN you get your reports for free.


    You don’t get your FICO scores for free but you can always buy them. The best place to get them is


    because not only do you get your scores, you get the “reason codes” for why your scores are the way they are.

    Don’t be fooled with any other credit score from Experian , Transunion or Equifax. Those in-house scores mean nothing. If it ain’t a FICO score, it’s meaningless. Those other scores are often used as “teasers” to sign up for credit monitoring services, “get your credit score for free” but if you read the small print, it says “not a FICO score.”

    • foodporncess says:

      I actually had a finance guy at the Nissan dealership try to tell me that I had a score 40 points lower than what I have. I knew my FICO score and called him out on it. Amazingly, within about 2 minutes the loan rate being offered dropped 4 points.

      It makes me sad that there are people out there who don’t do the research before they walk into the dealer, or other places for that matter.

  24. foodporncess says:

    Thank you. God I hate that one the most. Like you’d never marry someone because they had bad credit. Please. If that were true there’d be a whole lot less married people in the world.

  25. MimiAntiphates says:

    Well I’m shopping for a new car, which one’s me?
    A cool convertible or an SUV.
    Too bad I didn’t know my credit was whack,
    so now I’m driving off the lot in a used sub-compact.

    F-R-E-E, that spells “free”,
    credit report dot com baby.
    Saw their ads on my TV.
    Thought about goin’ but was too lazy.

    Now instead of lookin’ fly, I’m looking fat,
    my legs are sticking to the vinyl
    and my posse’s getting laughed at.
    F-R-E-E, that spells “free”, credit report dot com baby…

  26. scokar says:

    What I don’t get is the commercial where he has some junker car and he blames not checking his credit report. It wouldn’t have mattered if he had checked his credit report he would have qualified for the same car, he just would have known in advance!

  27. I’ve been seeing the same message on their website for a year… when are they going to fix the “condition.”

    A condition exists that prevents us from being able to accept your request at this time.

    Please visit this website again at a later time, or to request delivery of your free annual credit report via U.S. mail, call (877) 322-8228.

    Thank you.

  28. J-Mac says:

    Well, I knew better than to fall for the scam, but Equifax still managed to screw me out of my free credit report from I did get the Trans Union and Experian reports almost immediately – they at least honored the concept. But Equifax – always the sleaziest of the bunch – insisted that I enter my “password” first. Password? What password?

    It finally dawned on me that I had subscribed to their Credit Monitoring crap EIGHT years previous and I am certain that I did have a password then, but I have no idea what that was now. Worse, that was back when Comcast was using as their high-speed cable provider and my email was an Excite address. Excite is long since defunct and Equifax offered no way to change my email with which to get a new password UNLESS I replied the the email that they apparently kept sending to the old unusable address.

    Not exactly in the spirit of the intent of the free annual report, is it?


  29. Montaigne says:

    I have done this for years and the companies always refuse to send me my report right off the bat saying it is within the law to do so, which it is, but how annoying is it to send a copy of a utility bill, copy of my license, and all of my information, again, just to get this that should be readily available to me at anytime.

  30. Dahmer says:

    I can never see my free reports. Ever.

  31. SheHatesComcast says:

    freecreditreport.scum slammed my credit card no fewer than four times in one month – claiming I had signed up (okay – conceivable, but FOUR times???). Before I knew they were a scam, I called them to cancel – but they could only look up my “account” if I supplied my SS. Not my name, address, nothing – only the SS. Sure!! Here, have my house keys too. I had Amex cancel the charge, and paid nothing.

    And I still don’t understand why I have to PAY to get my fico score. Makes no sense.

  32. RufordMelpomene says:

    I would like to mention that this website goes hand in hand with sign up and minimize the amount of prescreened credit offers in the mail and protect yourself from identity theft. They used to include this web address in those prescreened mailings but now thy only mention a toll free number.

  33. boricuachick says:

    I’ve been getting my free credit report online every year since this service was initiated with no problem. However, I’ve been trying to get on the site today and I get the following error:
    Service Unavailable – DNS failure. Maybe free credit reports aren’t available during a recession. LOL.